It has been a few weeks since all the buzz surrounded Madonna’s half-time performance at the Super Bowl. While Madonna certainly has her detractors who believe she is too old to be an entertainer, there is no doubt that Madonna is still talent-packed and thriving.
Madonna burst onto the scene in the 1980s as a daring young pop artist with several singles such as Everybody, Holiday, Lucky Star, and Borderline which set her on a successful trajectory for the next several decades. She has remained successful while many other entertainers have proven to be one-hit wonders.
While Madonna had her start in the music business, she broadened her scope over time. In the past thirty years, Madonna has been a leading recording artist and performer, fashion icon and designer, as well as actress and director. Above all, she has been a shrewd and disciplined businesswoman. Even now when she is in her fifties, she is still going strong.
Madonna has always possessed an uncanny knack for tapping into the contemporary psyche while being both a trend-setter and cultural provocateur. She often pushes limits of acceptability and has re-invented herself as necessary. Her critics have only served to drive her forward.
We can learn some valuable lessons from Madonna on establishing ourselves and remaining relevant (in vogue) throughout our careers.
- Discover your talents.
- Apply your talents.
- Develop a strong work ethic.
- Stay relevant.
- Do not listen to detractors.
- Dare to push boundaries.
Discover your talents.
Self-awareness does not always come easily, and few people are fortunate enough to know their own strengths straight out of high school. In fact, it is not rare to feel rather adrift at first when it comes to your talents. Often, they must be uncovered and developed. This is one reason for higher education–to develop the person that you will eventually become.
University career centers have a number of ways to assist students in assessing skills, such as the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator and Strong Interest Indicator. Through such assessments, career counselors can help you learn more about yourself as well as apply what you have learned in experiential learning and internship opportunities. It is vital that you visit your career center early and often.
Apply your talents.
Eventually you will find yourself on the first rung of your career ladder–what you do here can set a course for your future. It is important to build your skills, learn about the organizational structure, develop a network, and become savvy in negotiating internal politics.
Do not think that your first job will be your last job. One can expect to change jobs several times throughout life. A September 2010 news release from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that “the average person born in the latter years of the baby boom held 11 jobs from age 18 to age 44.” Everyone hopes to find themselves on an upward career trajectory, and this often involves a changing role inside an organization or even leaving an organization to pursue better opportunities.
Part II is next week! Stay in vogue and start discovering your talents until then.
As Assistant Director of Recruiting within the Wake Forest Schools of Business Employer Relations team, Lisa’s passion is connecting employers with student talent and creating a positive experience for both. She manages all aspects of recruiting, retention, and systems for the graduate business school. Her strengths include relationship management, networking, social media engagement, information aggregation, process facilitation and communication. Lisa has been employed at Wake Forest since the fall of 2002. She has over 20 years of work experience in various roles. Prior to arriving at Wake Forest, she was an entrepreneur, venturing into web-based international sales and marketing of salvage automotive parts and accessories. Before that, she was a trust officer in the Employee Benefit Trust area of Wachovia Bank. Lisa is also a veteran of the United States Air Force. Lisa earned a B.S. in Business Administration from Rollins College and a Masters in Liberal Arts from Wake Forest. Visit Lisa’s blog, follow her on Twitter, or connect on LinkedIn.